eclectic design inspiration

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Help: 60s and Southern

After stuffing my face with almost an entire baguette, brie, and blueberries, I have just gotten home from watching the 84th Academy Awards at a friend's house (everyone knew The Artist  would sweep tonight - French snacks were appropriate!). I've spent nearly the past 5 hours commenting on gowns and hairdos, overall-good speeches, and all the movies I still need to see. And I'm still thinking about a few things: Billy Crystal is going to be a really adorable old man, I will never stop girl crushing on Penelope Cruz, and since when did Nick Nolte become Santa Clause? Sad face. (for the children)

And before this past year's films get totally away from us, I wanted to do a post on the set design of the various homes featured in the "Best Picture" nominated The Help, which takes place during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. While watching this movie, the interiors really caught my eye because they are a look I am familiar with: both my mom and grandmother's favored home design and decor style is Southern and filled with antiques (definitely not something I appreciated as a kid. Antique shopping had to be the most boring thing in the world. My, how times have changed). But that doesn't mean they are stuck in the 1960s; there are elements to the interior style achieved in The Help that are timeless and therefore totally doable now. But definitely not that crazy pink bathroom below! 

As The Help's production designer, Mark Ricker, explains for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, he found design inspiration from vintage copies of Better Homes and Gardens MagazineUnder Live Oaks by Caroline Seebohm, and of course the iconic Southern film, Gone With The Wind. After scavenging for the right antiques and decor from Memphis to Jackson, he chose to show the variety of 1960s Southern interior design by taking a different style approach with each character's home.

 Hilly's home represented the new South style that was "prim, perfect, pastel and icy." In this photo I am drawn to the pale peach walls and the porcelain lamps. Very elegant.

 Hilly's bathroom was designed with bubble gum pink everything and vintage wallpaper. This bathroom is soooo retro!

During this era, painted family portraits were pretty popular as seen in this photo of Hilly's living room; my grandmother had a very pretty portrait of my mom above the sofa in her den for a long time.

Celia's house was a "relic of an older generation, filled with all the history of a grander time and rich in family tradition." This photo makes me want to play I Spy with all of the animals! Jeez Louise!

I love that mirror in this photo of Celia's bedroom, but everything else is a bit too dramatic for me.

My mom often covers her formal dining table in a lace table cloth as done in this photo, and she often displays her silver and china in a similar way too.

Elizabeth's house was a middle-income ranch style home with a blander style, in an effort to keep with her character. Those walls scream 60s to me! In fact, everything about this room does.

Skeeter's home was light toned and comfortable, but still had a "formality of tradition."

 I love that linoleum floor!

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